Two main interests guided this project for the development of social housing and densification of the Colonia Obrera in Mexico City. First of all we were interested in how the proximity between two different buildings could generate narrow and high alleys who can generate interesting spatial experiences. This passage in between the so closely build volumes at the same time established a transition between the truly public space (the street) and the more enclosed semi-public patios on the inside of the urban blocks. We hereby also opened up the city blocks in a transversal way, making a pedestrian connection with the public spaces in the interior of the neighboring city blocks.Secondly, we tried to eliminate as much as possible the cores with vertical circulation in order to optimize the usable surface of the build volumes. We developed a system in which for every three building only one vertical core (elevator and open air staircases) was used. The building which is equipped with these cores serves therefore its two neighboring buildings by means of bridges. The differences in height between the neighboring buildings and the different positions of accesses, creates a playful composition of bridges, breaking the rigidity and orthogonality of the urban scheme. The whole urban layout has commercial and public functions on the ground floor and a variety of housing units ranging from 30m2 studios to 160 square meter apartments with 3 or 4 bedrooms. The generated density reaches about 500 housing units per hectare, doubling the existing density of the area.
Colaborators: Laura Rodríguez, Diego Escamilla, Ivan Villegas / Location: Colonia Obrera, Mexico City / Total Surface: aprox. 17.703 m2 / Type: Social Housing - Urbanism / Date: presented at Venice Biennale 2008 / Curator: Javier Sanchez